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2-029 (Text)

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addressee author,female,Felton, Sarah,un
Narrative Discourse
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Plaint Text :
Private Written
Felton, 1832
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2-029-plain.txt — 3 KB

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2nd Decbr 1829
To begin with the weather as an Englishman generally does, it is so mild and pleasant and the days so long that I have some difficulty in persuading myself that it is Xmas! More particularly as there are with me no internal and domestic indications to remind me of it.
I have seen many strange places but I never knew one where there was so utter an absence of hospitality as here. I hear of no friendly parties, no national merry makings - no social intercourse in any class of the society.
Indeed it may be said that there are but two classes here, the "elite" and the "canaille". Among the former it is all pomp, stiffness and formality; with the latter riot, revelry and drunkenness hold undisputed sway.
I admire Sydney as a town but I should be very sorry to live in it. In the country I believe the people are really kind and hospitable.
I have been this evening to visit the Botanical Gardens. It is very prettily laid out and contains a great variety of rare and beautiful flowers and shrubs. There are walks of perhaps 300 feet in length by 15 wide, enclosed entirely by vines trained over a Trellis. The effect is delightful, the shade most grateful and refreshing.
I shall be truly glad to get into the Bush. When I once take possession of my tent, I do not think I will live in Sydney again. The scenes of riot and debauchery one witnesses here, are dreadful; and to see the miserable wretches of natives, reeling about the streets, some stupid, some frantic from the effects of intoxication, is a most revolting spectacle. It is a melancholy fact and speaks volumes of the depravity of human nature, that these poor savages are apt beyond belief at imitating everything bad: drunkenness, swearing and every kind of vice they copy with the utmost facility - while the most laborious exertions have been found insufficient to impress them with a sense of right and wrong or to engraft on their brutal natures one single good quality. The faculty of speech alone seems to distinguish them from the beasts that perish.
Such they are here, among civilized men - I shall see them 'ere long in their primitive state, among their native wilds. There I shall find them at least uncontaminated by the vices of the white man.
A short distance to the left of the Parramatta Road and about a mile from the Town is the Burying Ground. It is almost filled with monuments, but is in a very neglected state. A great number of the Tombs are completely covered with Geraniums which quite scent the air with their fragrance, and has a very pleasing effect. Many of the graves are marked by no other Memorial than a plain wooden cross while some have a piece of board only, nailed to a post, and rudely painted with the words "Here lie the remains of" some poor wanderer from the Fatherland, whose dust lies unwept below.
A cemetery in a distant land, is the saddest truthteller, and to one who feels deeply the "amor pro patriae", there is no scene so full of melancholy, so natural is the desire: "bury me with my Fathers".
I walked some distance along The South Head Road and then struck off into the bush, to a rising ground which afforded me a completely Panoramic view of the whole country round with